June 20, 2024

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The northern lights may return to New York in June 2024. What to know

The northern lights may return to New York in June 2024. What to know

Rochester could get another chance to see the northern lights in early June, when the massive sunspot responsible for the stunning aurora encounters Earth once again.

The aurora, light seen in the night sky from the collision of electrons from space with the Earth’s upper atmosphere, is caused by interactions between the solar wind from the Sun and the planet’s magnetic field. Geomagnetic storms, like the one that occurred in May, can make aurora brighter and visible farther from the poles.

The sun rotates around its axis Once every 27 days, according to NASA. This rotation means that features on the surface of our star, including sunspots, do not always face Earth. The ideal dates for the Earth’s compatibility with these displays are from June 4 to June 6.

Sunspots can cause coronal mass ejections, which are large explosions of plasma and magnetic field from the Sun’s outer atmosphere, known as the corona. When Earth is on the coronal mass ejection line, such as in May, it can cause a stunning, large-scale display of the northern lights.

Another aspect that could enhance the viewing of the aurora on June 6 is the new moon, taking a major light source from the sky for anyone looking to view or photograph the phenomenon.

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Space weather: Solar flares cause stunning northern lights in the US

Powerful solar flares shed plasma onto Earth, causing stunning aurorae. These storms are rare, but thanks to space weather tracking, their impacts are minimal.

Reuters

The May aurora display has arrived not only in Rochester, but as far south as California and the Southeast.

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However, like any celestial event, viewing opportunities will depend on the weather, and the very early local forecast for June 6 from AccuWeather is calling for “large clouds,” a high chance of rain and a chance of thunderstorms.

more: NASA’s “Meteor Guy” explains meteor showers coming in 2024

more: Extreme solar activity has brought out the northern lights in Rochester. what do you know

Opportunities to view the northern lights should be more common as solar maximum, Expected in July 2025, Approach. Solar activity extends over approximately 11 years, and peaks every 5.5 years.

High solar activity means more sunspots, more solar flares and more opportunities to view the aurora beyond the Arctic Circle.

For more information about Space atmospheric conditions And Twilight forecastVisit NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center at swpc.noaa.gov.